Los Angeles – The Hawkins Company is excited to announce Lori Gentles’ appointment as Chief People Officer for the City of Santa Monica. Lori was selected after an extensive nationwide search, led by Executive Vice President Brett Byers. Lori will begin in her new position on December 28, 2018.
City of Santa Monica’s City Manager, Rick Cole, selected Lori amongst 14 top candidates. Lori proved to be an exemplary Human Resources professional with over 20 years of experience and numerous achievements. Currently, as the County of Santa Barbara’s Human Resources Director since 2016, Lori has been a transformational leader diligently working to bring efficiency to the Human Resources Department by digitizing resources and initiating an overhaul of antiquated workforce practices. Prior to her tenure at the County of Santa Barbara, Lori held positions with the California State University System, notably establishing a diversity and inclusion unit that emphasized equity on the Cal State Fullerton campus as the Vice President of HR, Diversity and Inclusion.
“In many ways this is the most crucial job a City Manager must fill – the person who leads on how we recruit, select, orient, train, manage and motivate the people of our workforce, the people responsible for delivering vital services 24/7 year-round,” said City Manager Rick Cole. “When we began this search, we were looking for a strategic leader who will build on our strong merit system and positive labor relations — and take a forward-looking and collaborative approach to managing talent in the public sector. Community members expect their government to work better and cost less. Lori’s track record as a human resources leader and change agent in higher education and local government is just what we were seeking. We’re fortunate to have recruited her from doing great work in Santa Barbara County to join our team to build a model of 21st Century government here in Santa Monica.”
As Chief People Officer, Lori will oversee a HR Department consisting of four divisions with 27 full-time employees and an operating budget of $4.9 million.
Ms. Gentles said, “I am honored to be selected as the City’s Chief People Officer. It is truly an opportunity to work alongside my colleagues to create a model of 21st Century government in a thriving community. The people of any organization are the key ingredient to success. I look forward to working with my team to empower employees to operate at their highest level and to raise the bar for talent management and organizational development. Working with my team, I intend to have a positive, visible and lasting impact on customer experience and community satisfaction.”